Ensuring welcoming and respectful spaces

Waterloo Region is a caring and compassionate community, and all visitors to Region of Waterloo buildings and property should feel welcome and respected. Through our Code of Use By-law, we continue to work to ensure a positive space for all by deterring hate and harassment and addressing non-compliance.  

If you would like to report an incident, please speak with the supervisor onsite or call 519-575-4400. 

Frequently asked questions 

What is the harassment provision in the Region’s Code of Use By-law? 

The Region’s Code of Use By-law outlines behavioural expectations for all who access Regional programs and services. It is designed to address and prohibit hate and harassment by one person against another on Regional property.  

Why does the Region have this harassment provision in the bylaw?

The harassment provision is one more step the Region is taking to create safe and inclusive spaces for all. This by-law aims to ensure everyone has access to services by protecting all, including marginalized communities, from hate and harassment on our property. The Region was the first municipality in Ontario to include this provision, which took effect January 1, 2024. 

What constitutes harassment under the Code of Use By-law? 

Harassment includes but is not limited to: 

  • Experiencing objectionable or unwelcome conduct, comment, or bullying; 

  • Actions that could reasonably cause offence or humiliation, including conduct, comment, bullying, or actions because of: 

    • Race; 

    • Religious beliefs; 

    • Colour; 

    • Disability; 

    • Age; 

    • Ancestry; 

    • Place of origin; 

    • Marital status; 

    • Source of income; 

    • Family status; 

    • Gender; 

    • Gender identity; 

    • Gender expression; 

    • Sexual orientation; 

    • Socio-economic status; and/or 

    • Housing status.  

Where does the bylaw apply? 

The Code of Use By-law applies to all visitors on Regional property, including Grand River Transit buses, light rail, bus and light rail stops, and any building owned by the Region of Waterloo. The by-law does not apply to Regional roads. 

What are the consequences for harassment on Regional property?  

Potential consequences for harassing an individual under the provision in the Code of Use By-law are: 

  • A warning and education on expectations and the provision in the By-law 

  • A trespass notice if the individual does not leave when asked 

  • A charge for contravening the Code of Use By-law, with a maximum fine of $5,000  

Does this bylaw impact my right to protest/freedom of expression?

This bylaw specifically exempts lawful protests and only applies to discrimination that takes the form of harassment by one person against another on Region of Waterloo property. Nothing in this bylaw prevents or prohibits a peaceful and lawful protest on Region of Waterloo property 

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